Negotiation and Contracts

Before Negotiating a Contract

  • Take time to think before entering into negotiations.
  • Find out where on campus to go for assistance. An advisor may have experience negotiating, student life may have legal services available for students to use, or there may be an outside contact who can assist with contact negotiation.
  • There are also many online resources available to assist you, such as this article by Stacey Hawley at
  • Determine your priorities. These could be skills to learn, travel expenses, living expenses, primary duties, etc.

While Negotiating a Contract

  • Remember your priorities, but be flexible. Sometimes negotiation means giving up something to gain something else.
  • Be realistic. Rarely does anyone gain 100% of what they want.
  • Provide options that demonstrate flexibility.
  • Always communicate appropriately; don't allow the conversation to become heated. Think before reacting.
  • Try to understand the other person’s point of view.
  • Make sure that everything that has been discussed verbally is included in the contract.
  • If you have a planned vacation or other event set during the internship make sure you have negotiated it in.

Before Signing the Contract

  • Make sure all changes have been made and that the terms you have agreed upon are in the contract. 
  • Remember that once you have signed, you have accepted the terms of the contract.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions to clarify what is stated in the contract.